Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When bye bye becomes buy buy: How homophones affect consumer behavior

Date:
November 20, 2013
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
It is possible to affect how someone will think or act simply by priming that person with just a single word, according to a new study that examines the use of homophones in written advertising.

It is possible to affect how someone will think or act simply by priming that person with just a single word, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research that examines the use of homophones in written advertising.

"We show that mentally distracted people will think of purchasing, or 'buy' when reading 'bye.' When the concept of purchasing is primed by reading 'bye,' consumers may be willing to pay more for a product or service," write authors Derick F. Davis (University of Miami) and Paul M. Herr (Virginia Tech).

Across several studies, the authors examined the previously unexplored question of whether priming via the use of homophones (words that sound the same as one another but have different spellings and meanings) would influence consumer behavior. Their research showed that, indeed, priming via a homophone elicits a predictable effect even when the connection between the homophone and the desired behavior is not obvious. For instance, when primed with the term "goodbye," a consumer may perceive they have just received a good deal, or "good buy.

The research extends to broader applications than consumer behavior, the authors note. "Building from these findings," they explain, "it may be possible to aid in individuals' dieting goals by having them read 'wait,' or influence how bold they feel when they read about a 'boulder.'"

The concept of priming is common in advertising, but the connection between the use of homophones and modified consumer behavior may have new application for brands as well as public policy makers. One real-world example is the weight-loss drug Alli, which sounds like ally -- one's comrade or friend in an effort. Consumers may be more likely to perceive Alli as being a helpful "ally" in their weight-loss goals.

"The relationship between word sound and word meaning may be interesting in the many areas where the written word is used to communicate meaning," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Derick F. Davis and Paul M. Herr. From Bye to Buy: Homophones as a Phonological Route to Priming. Journal of Consumer Research, April 2014

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "When bye bye becomes buy buy: How homophones affect consumer behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120081102.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2013, November 20). When bye bye becomes buy buy: How homophones affect consumer behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120081102.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "When bye bye becomes buy buy: How homophones affect consumer behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120081102.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins